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Access online and zero-contact services across our libraries. Limited in-person services are available at the UL and in some Faculty and Department libraries. Visit Using the Library for information on services and support to help you study, teach and research.

Cambridge University Library


Before making a request

Please remember to check iDiscover and other card catalogues before submitting the request to ensure as best you can that the item you require is not already available in Cambridge University.

Some points to note

  • Payment: Payment must be accepted at the time of making the request. The fee for an Inter-Library Loan request is currently £5.00 for members of Cambridge University and £12.00 for all other readers. Online requests must be accompanied by an online payment, with cash or cheque only accepted for paper requests. Cheques should be made payable to "University of Cambridge".
  • Contact details: Please supply your full postal address and e-mail, as we use a system independent from the Library's circulation system.
  • Consultation: All loaned items on Inter-Library Loan are for reference use in the West Room only (home reading is not permitted).
  • Multi-volume sets: Please complete a separate application form for each volume required. Libraries will charge per volume.
  • Journal articles: By law you may only request one article from any single journal issue. If you require more than one article please request the whole issue for loan, or speak to the ILL staff about obtaining "copyright fee paid" items from the British Library Document Supply Centre.
  • Secure Electronic Delivery (SED): If you require either a journal article or a copy of a chapter from a book, and the British Library holds the item, it may be possible to receive this via secure electronic delivery. See our Secure Electronic Delivery page for more information.
  • British Ph.D. Theses: Ph.D. theses submitted at almost 100 UK universities are obtainable from EThOS, a service set up to provide electronic access to all theses from participating institutions whether submitted as hardcopy or electronically. Over 250,000 theses are already available through EThOS.
  • Non-Roman script: Since this cannot be keyed for electronic transmission, please transliterate the request and also hand in a copy of the reference in the original script.
  • Latest Acceptable Date: All requests are treated with equal urgency, but if there is a time after which the item will no longer be of use then please let us know.
  • Incomplete forms: Lack of complete information can result in a delay of requested material.
  • Renewals: Items that you wish to consult beyond the original due date will incur a £5.00 renewal fee. Please contact staff if you wish to renew an item.
  • Refunds: Subsequently, should it turn out that the item cannot be supplied you will be entitled to a full refund, notification of which will be sent to you.

Submitting an Inter-Library Loan Request

Online Submit your Inter-Library Loan request online, with payment by Credit or Debit Card (Visa, Delta, Mastercard, Solo, Maestro (if issued in the UK), and Visa Electron. We are currently unable to accept Amex for online payments.
Access the Online Inter-Library Loan Form.
Paper If you prefer to pay by cash or cheque, please complete our Universal ILL Request form which is available at the West Room Enquiry Desk or can be accessed here. Please print the form, fill it in and hand in at the ILL Enquiry Desk in the West Room, with payment, or send through the University Messenger Service (Cambridge University premises only) or the postal service. Cheques should be made payable to 'University of Cambridge'.

Important Note - Junk Mail Safe List

Emails with links or attachments, such as those sent by the Inter-Library Loans Department to inform you of an arrival or the British Library when supplying documents electronically, may be filtered by various email clients and service providers. It is therefore important to regularly check your junk mail folder or add the following addresses to your email "Safe List" in the junk mail settings: